Bexar County recorded five deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 122.

The local coronavirus case count rose by 341, bringing the total to 14,533. The number of people being treated at Bexar County hospitals also continued to climb, with 1,120 currently hospitalized. Of those patients, 351 are in intensive care and 191 on ventilators.

City-run testing sites were open on July 3 ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, City officials said, so the lower daily increase isn’t related to testing capacity, but it’s also not a reason to stop being vigilant. 

The uptick in numbers comes after Bexar County reported record-breaking numbers on Friday, with 1,334 new positives, causing Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Friday to warn people to not congregate in group settings over the holiday weekend. 

“All we have to do is block this virus from being transmitted from myself to somebody else or from you to somebody else, and you do that by putting on a mask,” Nirenberg said. “Do that for a couple weeks and we’ll see our numbers drop.”

In light of restrictions on gatherings and the closure of public parks, San Antonians have adapted their Fourth of July celebrations with social distancing measures. Monticello Park organized a car and bike parade and neighbors gathered Saturday morning with masks and patriotic decorations in the parking lot of a nearby church.

Neighborhood association president Cathy Teague decorated her vehicle with red, white, and blue sparkly streamers and signs announcing the holiday. Wearing a red dress and blue mask, she chatted with residents before the parade began at 9 a.m.

“We are a community that likes to gather and we usually do it all year long,” Teague said. “We haven’t been able to safely gather recently. … This felt like the right way to celebrate.”

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.